8 Totally Cool Things About Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Walt Disney World

Follow the lively calliope music to the colorful big tops of Storybook Circus, a very special part of the Magic Kingdom. Here guests delight in the classic backdrop of an American circus, with the delicious smell of cotton candy and fresh popcorn wafting through the air, bright circus posters, and whimsical attractions that appeal to guests of all ages. Cool off on a hot Florida day at the Casey Jr. Soak ‘N’ Splash Station and take a wild ride on the Barnstormer, a roller coaster designed for smaller children. Meet favorite characters at Pete’s Silly Sideshow and see Goofy, Donald, Minnie, and Daisy outfitted in their circus costumes, and don’t forget to check out Big Top Souvenirs for a sweet treat.  The best part of Storybook Circus is without a doubt, Dumbo the Flying Elephant. This classic spinner ride allows guests to raise and lower their vehicle to a preferable height and has always been a favorite for guests of all ages. Check out my reasons why soaring high on Dumbo should definitely be part of your must-do list!


1. Big Top Theming

As you’re walking up to the Dumbo attractions, check out the great details that are essential to Storybook Circus, from the trapeze poles inside of Big Top Souvenirs and the bright primary colors of a circus to the imprints in the pavement. It appears that the lions, elephants, and other circus animals left pawprints and some peanut shells on the ground.

2. The Classic Film

Movies about the circus have always been popular, and Disney made several of these starting in the 1940s. Without a doubt, the most famous is the 1941 classic, Dumbo the Flying Elephant. It’s one of Disney’s shortest animated films, but also one of the most successful Disney productions of that era. Walt Disney adapted the movie from a 1939 book and added his own creative touches.

3. Twice the Fun

Did you know that Dumbo was one of the 1971 opening day attractions in Walt Disney World? Always a favorite attraction among guests young and old, a second Dumbo ride was added in 2012 when New Fantasyland opened. Now guests can take a Dumbo for a spin on two separate attractions: one spins clockwise while the other spins counterclockwise.


4. Night Lights

It’s fun to fly to Dumbo any time of the day, but a nighttime flight is definitely more spectacular. Illuminated fountains resembling firehouses spray water into a trough below the elephant vehicles, giving the attraction a fanciful glow. Guests soar above the twinkling lights of Storybook Circus, catching glimpses of Fantasyland in a magical light.

5. A Great Wait

No one likes to wait in a long line, especially younger guests, and the Dumbo attraction has an ingenious way to avoid this. Adults with a younger child can grab a pager and play in a fantastic circus-themed area until time to ride. Children get to have fun and release some energy, and adults have a chance to rest their feet and take a break. It’s a win-win situation all around!

6. A Famous Mouse

What famous mouse could there be in the Magic Kingdom besides Mickey? Timothy Q. Mouse, of course! In the animated film, Timothy befriends the young elephant and attempts to make him feel better. He also provides Dumbo with a magic feather, allowing Dumbo to think he can fly. Look for Timothy at the entrance to the Dumbo queue, as well as in the center of the ride.

7. Even More Details

When it’s your turn to pick a Dumbo vehicle and ride, they aren’t all the same. Dumbo’s hat, saddle, and collar are painted different colors, so pick your favorite one. Take a peek at the back of the entrance sign for the message “Believe and Soar”. It’s the perfect inspiration to get ready for flight. Take a seat in your Dumbo vehicle and look over at the bottom of the spinner at the detailed panels that tell the story of Dumbo through artwork from the movie. See if you can spot the letter D for Dumbo and peanut images on the spinner, as well as on the mechanisms that lift the arms holding the elephant vehicles. Looking further up are smiling elephants representative of Dumbo’s mother, and at the very top of the spinner are storks carrying bundles, presumably holding baby Dumbos.  Catch a glimpse at these while you’re soaring high in the air.

8. A Global Favorite

Guests soar on Dumbo not just in Walt Disney World, but also in five other parks. Take a ride on this beloved pachyderm in Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disneyland.

About Melissa Fegely

I have been a professional writer for over 18 years with degrees in Biology and English. I am a lifelong Disney fan and a Disney Vacation Club member of over nine years. Having visited Walt Disney World several times growing up, I really caught the Disney bug after many trips with my husband. Now I am happily addicted to taking our son to Walt Disney World as often as possible and watching him experience the magic and Mickey Bars as he grows up. Traveling to Walt Disney World twice a year, I enjoy attending the Flower and Garden festival held in the spring and strolling around the World Showcase, as well as exploring all of the hidden gems that all four parks have to offer. I love helping my family and friends plan their next Disney trips based on my experiences. I also enjoy reading, swimming, traveling, and cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I grew up in Southwestern Pennsylvania, attended Shippensburg University, and current live in suburban Philadelphia with my husband, son, and two cats.